What Happens in Vegas

Doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

This story starts on Thursday February 28th. But before I get started, I just want you loyal readers, yes, all 10 of you (Hi Mom & Dad), this is probably going to be a very boring story, so I won’t be mad if you skip ahead to the funny parts, they will be clearly marked. The purpose of this tale is to keep people informed. And to prove I do stuff on these business trips.

So Thursday we had a big NBCSports.com meeting at 30 Rock. I was in charge of assembling and running PowerPoint presentation that would be shown to the 80-some-odd people in attendance, Ebersol included. Going into the day I was somewhere on the bridge spanning the chasm of supremely confident and nervousness. Thankfully I had nothing to fear and the day worked perfectly.

Immediately following the meeting I hopped in a cab and headed to JFK and en un dos por tres, which in Spanish translates to something along the lines of likety split, I was in Vegas. Now the last time I was in Vegas I was about 13, so you can imagine it was a little different this time. I checked into my room and headed over to the National Heads-Up Poker Pairings Party which was held at Pure Nightclub at Caesar’s Palace. The party lasted till 2am (aka 5am et), and somehow I managed to make it through the whole night. For those that don’t know, the NHUPC is a march madness type poker tournament. It is also the most watched poker show in the country.

Friday morning I got to the set at 9:30 and I helped out with the live blog of the event. I created the brackets and helped come up with headlines. Taping ended at 10 so I took a walk down the strip and caught the fountain show at the Bellagio. Bellissima. I was excited for Saturday morning since Syracuse was playing and I could watch them at 9:00AM, but as expected Lucas found me at 8:45 and informed me that he had 2 minutes to explain his job to me because he was going to be doing something else. He prefaced the learning session by saying that this was going to be a tedious, thankless job, which was one of the most important on site. Inspirational. In short, the NHUPC is taped show. There are 25 cameras shooting at a time, recording onto one hour long video tapes. I was in charge of making sure all the cameras had video tapes to record on at all times. This required me to label the tapes (each tape got five stickers, and none of the labels were printed ahead of time), deliver the tapes to the truck, get the tapes that had been used, barcode them, process them into the system, and package the tapes up to be shipped back to NY. Each set of tapes were assigned a group number so that the producer would know what was taped when. I took over when the truck had group 10. So lets see what the first few hours of my day was like:
9:00 – Learn the ropes of tape stock.
9:05 – Lesson over. Left to my own means.
10:30 – Finish labeling group 15 tapes (11-13 were done previously)
10:45 – Taping begins. Start labeling group 16
11:15 – Bring group 11 to truck
11:40 – Finish labeling group 16
11:45 – Tape change
11:48 – Pick-up used tapes. Start barcoding and processing
12:15 – Bring group 12 to truck
12:30 – Finish barcoding. Start labeling group 17
12:45 – Tape change
12:48 – Pick-up used tapes. Start barcoding and processing
1:15 – Bring group 13 to truck
1:30 – Finish barcoding. Finish labeling group 17
1:45 – Tape change

After Saturday was done we had used the group 20 tapes. I was originally going home Sunday morning, but they asked me to stay longer to help with the production. I stayed and it was a pretty good experience. Sunday was much of the same, except for the fact we ran out of tapes halfway through. We started scrounging around the entire city and even took some tape stock from the NASCAR race in town. After two straight 9A-12P days I was exhausted.

****FUNNY PART****
Since I was working with the tape stock Saturday and Sunday I didn’t get to help with the blog much, but after Andy Bloch derailed the Cinderella run of Orel Hershiser (yes, that Orel Hershiser) I came up with the perfect headline, sadly it was rejected:

Bloch Turns Down Orel

****End Funny Part****

The worst part was that I was following the Live Updates of the Syracuse game online while working and the internet went down right in the midst of Syracuse’s epic collapse. F it I don’t even want to talk about it.

Things you should take away from this blog:
1. Watching poker without hole cards sucks.
2. One day I need to go back to Vegas to enjoy it
3. When you don’t know how to end a boring blog make a list of random points to learn the readers
4. Syracuse is NIT bound. Fuckers.
5. The world is a vampire.
6. Greatest site I have discovered in some time: Garfield Minus Garfield

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